Deepika’s next, directed by Meghna Gulzar, to be titled Chhapaak

Actress Deepika Padukone is ready to roll on her next project after her recent wedding to actor Ranveer Singh. She will co-produce Chhapaak, based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, with director Meghna Gulzar.

According to a report in the daily tabloid, Mumbai Mirror, Chhapaak will begin filming from mid-March 2019 in Delhi and Mumbai.

Actor Vikrant Massey, recently seen in the Amazon Prime Video web-series Mirzapur, will act opposite Padukone as a character based on Laxmi’s partner Alok Dixit.

Meghna told the tabloid, “Vikrant is somebody I’ve wanted to work with since Raazi, after seeing him in A Death In The Gunj. In the film he plays a North Indian boy who used to be a professional before he decided to become an activist, then, started a campaign against acid violence which is how he came to meet Laxmi in real life.”

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The filmmaker also shared that they were undecided between two titles — Gandhak (meaning sulphuric acid) and Chhapaak (the sound of a splash). The film is based on conversations she had with Agarwal over two years.

“The latter [Chhapaak] spoke to me strongly and resonated with everyone. I bounced it off as it conveys that the film is acid violence almost immediately and quite effortlessly,” she said.

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Meghna will begin work on Chhapaak before her Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw biopic which she confirmed this November. She approached Padukone about Chhapaak and the actress agreed to come onboard as producer, even though initially she was looking to take on a film with a lighter subject.

She went to to say that she didn’t think Padukone would agree for the part. “It’s not easy when your face is your calling card. To agree to put that on the line and disguise yourself as an acid attack survivor for a film is a difficult path to tread,” Meghna revealed, saying that the project will involve many prosthetics tests for the final look.

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No release date for Chhapaak has been announced as yet.

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